Schuh boys are next in Heim's photo project
According to Rose Heim, Anthony, Kenny, Douglas and Derrick Schuh are "good examples for other young people." This is one of the many reasons she selected the boys to be representatives to the photo project she and her daughter, Gretchen have been working on.
The boys also stood out to Heim because they have a one-of-a-kind gift and talent -- they take old lawnmowers and rebuild and restore them to create something new, different and unique.
"Four years ago, Kenny 16, started with an old Simplicity lawnmower by exchanging the lawnmower tires with four wheelers tires," said the boys' mother, Dorothy Schuh, on how they got started on the project.
"After that, the boys' uncle, Randy Krueth, and Anthony, 17, took an old Cub Cadet and rebuilt it. They lengthened it and altered the motor to fit the rear end. They also replaced the steering column with one out of a Toyota pickup, added a car bucket seat and altered the rear wheels.
"Since then, Randy has worked on a 1968 Montgomery Wards with Kenny. They tore it apart and did a ground up restoration. They still plan on rebuilding the hydraulic pump on it.
"Derrick's, 14, project was a 1970 Cub Cadet, which they did about the same with -- a ground up restoration and new paint job.
"Doug, 14, has decided that since they are not allowed to drive their lawnmowers outside of the yard, his project with Uncle Randy will be restoring a 1974 Smoker Craft boat and motor."
According to Schuh, each of the brothers have their own individual ideas and projects. They help each other, too -- usually with a little bit of brotherly arguing mixed in.
Krueth, who has worked with mechanics his entire life, is not only an uncle to the boys, he is their mentor as well.
"I'm the welder/fabricator on the projects. I use my own ideas, as well as the boys' ideas to create something unique," he said. "I enjoy teaching my nephews mechanics, as my father taught me."
Schuh said that in the beginning, the boys were very enthusiastic about their project.
"We have very little for the youth in Kelliher," she said, "so I was excited to see them find something productive to do. They were learning skills and teamwork and had a safe place to hang out."
However, since the boys started their project, they've been warned by local law enforcement that driving any of the lawnmowers outside their yard was illegal because they were considered "go-carts."
"Their enthusiasm has dwindled and they've lost a lot of interest," Schuh said.
"As soon as we get settled in and the boys have my 15 acres of land to drive on, I'm hoping their enthusiasm for mechanics will return to what it was in the beginning," Krueth said.
"I also think it's unfortunate that they haven't been able to drive them, but hopefully even that will help teach them that they need to be respectful of what's right and what's wrong -- whether they agree with it or not," Schuh said. "At the same time, I hope they learn to not get discouraged when there are obstacles in their path. Life is too short to not do what makes us happy."
When approached by Heim for the photo project, the boys were very excited.
"They add a perspective and energy that only comes from youth," she said.
Schuh said, "As much as I complain sometimes about having my garage and tools taken over completely, I'm very proud of my boys. I think they're all very talented. Mechanics comes so naturally to all of them and some of the ideas they come up with completely amaze me. I think it's wonderful!"
The unveiling of the Schuh boys' print will be July 7 at 7 p.m. in the lobby of the Old School Kelliher Community Center. Root beer floats will be served and everyone is welcome to attend.